Author(s): Waller PJ
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Abstract Despite the extraordinary success in the development of anthelmintics in the latter part of the last century, helminth parasites of domestic ruminants continue to pose the greatest infectious disease problem in grazing livestock systems worldwide. Newly emerged threats to continuing successful livestock production, particularly with small ruminants, are the failure of this chemotherapeutic arsenal due to the widespread development of anthelmintic resistance at a time when the likelihood of new products becoming commercially available seems more remote. Changing public attitudes with regards to animal welfare, food preferences and safety will also significantly impact on the ways in which livestock are managed and their parasites are controlled. Superimposed on this are changes in livestock demographics internationally, in response to evolving trade policies and demands for livestock products. In addition, is the apparently ever-diminishing numbers of veterinary parasitology researchers in both the public and private sectors. Industries, whether being the livestock industries, the public research industries, or the pharmaceutical industries that provide animal health products, must adapt to these changes. In the context of helminth control in ruminant livestock, the mind-set of 'suppression' needs to be replaced by 'management' of parasites to maintain long-term profitable livestock production. Existing effective chemical groups need to be carefully husbanded and non-chemotherapeutic methods of parasite control need to be further researched and adopted, if and when, they become commercially available. This will require veterinary parasitology researchers from both the public and private sectors to work in close co-operation to ensure 'sustainability' - not only of the livestock industries that they service - but also for their very own activities and enterprises.
This article was published in Vet Parasitol
and referenced in Pharmaceutical Analytical Chemistry: Open Access